Bag-ao: Aguirre’s case vs Hontiveros part of ‘Leilanization’
Dinagat Islands Rep. Arlene Bag-ao has assailed Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre for filing criminal complaints against Senator Risa Hontiveros, saying such a move is yet another example of the Duterte administration’s “Leilanization” versus the opposition.
“After they detain Senator Leila de Lima, now they’re going after Senator Risa. Is this because Senator Risa took the witnesses to the killing of Kian delos Santos under her wing to ensure their safety?” Bag-ao asked in a statement.
Bag-ao also noted Aguirre had yet to answer Hontiveros’ allegations that he was in cahoots with former Negros Oriental 1st Dist. Rep. Jacinto Paras in the supposed filing of trumped-up charges against the opposition senator.
“They raised howls right away at the fact their exchanges were read. They have been caught, yet they are the ones angry,” said Bag-ao, a former Akbayan party-list representative like Hontiveros.
“All Senator Risa did was reveal the truth that there have been concerted efforts against the opposition—whose true job is to scrutinize the Administration and ensure the power is not abused. Maybe, they’re forgetting we’re in a democratic society,” Bag-ao said.
Aguirre filed on Monday his wiretapping complaints against Hontiveros at the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office, which is under the supervision of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Last September 25, Paras filed his wiretapping complaints against Hontiveros before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The cases stemmed from the privilege speech of Hontiveros last September 11, where she exposed Paras’ and Aguirre’s apparent plan to file charges against her as alleged reprisal because she was pushing for the investigation on the case of Delos Santos.
In the said speech, she presented a picture showing the alleged text message exchanges between Aguirre and “Cong. Jing”, which read:
“Cong. Jing: Hontiveros had taught the witness already. Her questions are leading questions.”
“Aguirre: “That’s what I’ve been saying. Very obvious. That’s why we should expedite your cases vs. her.”
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